Innovation

2015 Year-End Review: A Year of Ingenuity

Feb 15th, 2016 | By Jeremy Kranowitz

One of the most popular movies of 2015 was The Martian, a story of an astronaut, stranded on Mars, who uses ingenuity to grow food in poor Martian soil, capture solar energy to extend the distance he can travel in rovers, and communicate with the public on Earth. This captivating movie has a lot in common with the year we had at Sustainable America.
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Innovation

Voyo Is Turning Older Cars Into Fuel-Efficient Smart Cars

Nov 19th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

You’ve got a FitBit for your body. Soon, you can have something similar for your car. San Francisco startup Voyomotive has developed Voyo, a telematics system that can tap into your car’s diagnostics system and allow you do a whole host of things previously only available on tricked-out connected cars. We’re most excited about Voyo’s fuel-saving features, like a plug-and-play start/stop system, that can help drivers dramatically cut idling time and drive more efficiently.
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Innovation

A New Fix for the Nitrogen Problem

Feb 17th, 2015 | By Sarah Stankorb

Even though farmers don’t blindly follow outmoded aphorisms of the trade, like measuring corn “knee-high by the Fourth of July”, many do still abide by old habits. Some apply manure annually in November regardless of weather or land conditions. Many do their best to adapt to the season’s rainfall, yet treat all their farmland the same way, regardless of how that land varies across acreage. And that hurts their bottom lines—and the environment. A new technology, however, has the potential to push farming forward by helping farmers grow more with less impact on the environment.
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Innovation

7 Technologies That Can Slash Idling

Dec 5th, 2014 | By Katrina Kazda

We’ve been known to get more than a little irked when we notice people [idling their vehicles](http://iturnitoff.com) unnecessarily, like at drive-thrus or school pick-ups. It wastes gas, it pollutes the air, it stinks and it’s just, well, unnecessary. But some drivers get a free idling pass, right? Don’t refrigerated trucks, utility vehicles, safety and emergency vehicles and long-haul trucks often need to keep their engines running to power auxiliary functions? Yes, and no. Here, we explain.
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Innovation

6 Ways the Coffee Industry Is Turning Waste Into a Resource

Oct 14th, 2014 | By Jenny Neill

Consider this over your morning coffee: Almost half the biomass of the coffee cherry — the fruit that contains coffee beans — ends up as processing waste. With worldwide coffee production reaching 9 to 11 billion pounds on an annual basis, that’s a lot of byproduct to handle. Thankfully, industry players keep striving to solve this problem. Here are six ways they are turning coffee waste into a resource.
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Innovation

Our Latest Investment: XL Hybrids

Oct 10th, 2014 | By Gray Peckham

XL Hybrids converts existing gas-fueled commercial vehicles like cargo vans, shuttle buses and delivery trucks into hybrids. It’s a solution that can increase an entire vehicle fleet's fuel efficiency by 20 percent, and that’s gotten the attention of companies like FedEx and Coca-Cola. The Boston-based company has gotten our attention, too. We’re excited to announce that XL Hybrids is the latest business that Sustainable America is investing in as part of our overall goal to reduce our nation’s oil consumption by 50 percent over the next two decades.
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Innovation

Rising Stars: High Schoolers Win National Contest on Sustainability

Jul 30th, 2014 | By Laura Waldman

A few months ago, a couple of local high school students came to us for help with a project. They were looking for information about sustainability and green practices for a video they were producing. We were happy to help, but little did we know how far that video would take them.
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Innovation

XL Hybrids: Making Fleets More Fuel Efficient

May 16th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Imagine that you run a company with a fleet of delivery vehicles that make lots of short trips all day long through crowded city streets. Along with the costs of labor to pay for all those drivers, fuel costs are one of the biggest expenses you face. If you could shave 20 percent off your fuel bill, you would probably say, “Where do I sign?” We’ve found a company that can do just that: XL Hybrids.
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Innovation

Waste-to-Value: The Next Big Thing?

Mar 10th, 2014 | By Gray Peckham

"Waste-to-value" is a great buzzword and even better concept. It cuts right to the core of what we really need in society today – practical means of taking the waste we generate and repurposing it, profitably if possible, into things we need.
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Innovation

A Better Way to Check Tire Pressure

Feb 26th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

How often do you check your car’s tire pressure? Do you even know how often you should check your tire pressure? It's not a difficult task, but it’s not convenient, either. You have to find your gauge, keep track of four tiny caps, get your hands dirty, wrestle with an air hose. Is it all worth it? Well, yes. And a new product called RightPSI will make the task much easier.
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